The THINK! team has launched its latest campaign designed to deter young drivers from using their mobile phone at the wheel, which includes a film shot in the style of a music video.
The campaign asks young drivers – who are less likely to consider mobile phone use a dangerous behaviour – to put their phone away by ‘highlighting just what you miss when you glance at your phone’.
THINK! says young drivers are three times more likely to use a hand-held mobile while driving, than those aged over 35 years.
The film uses vibrant colours and an ‘edgy’ soundtrack to engage the young audience in a bid to challenge the misconception that a quick glance at your phone won’t hurt.
THINK! says if a driver travelling at 30mph glances at their phone for just 2.3 seconds, they miss 100 feet of road – the length of a Boeing 737.
The four-week campaign will run in cinemas, online, radio and on social media.
More than 15,000 fines have been issued to drivers using a handheld phone since stiffer penalties were introduced in March this year.
The THINK! team says the campaign it ran at the time helped increase awareness of the new penalties by 89% – and 47% of those who had seen the adverts said they were less likely to use their phone when driving.
The approach taken in this latest campaign is a break from the traditional hard-hitting THINK! campaigns. THINK! says the new approach is ‘proven to be more effective at influencing the target audience’ – those aged 17 to 34 years.
THINK! is urging Android smartphone users to download the Car Mode app – or in the case of an iPhone the drive safe mode – which automatically detects when a person is driving, and silences incoming calls and messages.
Launching the campaign, Jesse Norman, road safety minister, said: “Yhe awful truth is that tens of thousands of drivers are still flouting the law and endangering others by using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel.
“This eye-catching advert demonstrates how dangerous looking at your phone for just 2 seconds can be, and the devastating impact it can have on other road users.”
The campaign is supported by the RAC and the National Police Chiefs’ Council.
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman said: “The RAC’s latest research reveals that the problem is still at epidemic proportions with a hard core of drivers persisting in texting, talking, tweeting and even taking photos at the wheel.
“We therefore welcome THINK!’s thought-provoking video, which highlights the dangers of a two-second glance at your phone while driving.
“Motorists risk a collision with potentially fatal consequences which could change their life, and the lives of others, forever.
“We hope that this (campaign) will help persuade more drivers to put away their handheld mobile phone for good when driving and be phone smart.”
Chief constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, added: “Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts everyone on the roads at risk of serious harm.
“Police are making use of the tougher penalties to clamp down on this dangerous behaviour – but we have to be clear that when you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert.
“As this campaign makes clear, it only takes a few seconds of distraction to change lives forever.”